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UK car industry productivity hits all-time high

The automotive market in the UK is more productive than ever before, according to new figures from a key motor industry trade association.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) latest calculations revealed on Thursday that car manufacturing in the UK was up 1.9 per cent in March with 144,893 cars built – the highest figure for the month of March since 2006.

Manufacturing output for the domestic market rose by almost a quarter, suggesting an increasing demand for new cars in the UK.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “‘Built in Britain’ is more than just a brand: our automotive industry is increasingly competitive on a global scale.”

Looking at the past five-year period, 11.5 vehicles were produced a year for each person employed in the industry. For the period from 2005 to 2009, the figure was 9.3 vehicles produced per employee per year.

“Productivity figures prove that the UK is not only making a diverse range of vehicles which are in high demand around the world, but that manufacturers, supported by a flexible workforce, are producing them more efficiently than ever.”

Speaking about the increase in UK automotive manufacturing output, Chris Sumner of factory automation specialist FANUC, said: “The appetite within the automotive industry for new technologies is apparent as we’re seeing a strong interest for collaborative robots - the ability for human operators to work hand-in-hand with automated machines - which will further transform production efficiencies over the next year.”

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